Q-Tips and cravings.

The first two weeks after my surgery, I lost 18 pounds. This third week, I have not lost a single pound. Talk about frustrating. I mean, how can one NOT lose weight when consuming 500 calories or less a day and working out? It’s crazy. Everything I read says this is a common plateau, but this makes it no less frustrating — especially when I go on to the bulletin boards and read about 50 year-old women who had the surgery same day as me and have lost twice as much as I have. You all have plateaus. I have Devil’s Tower. I know you old bitches aren’t working on your fidness, so what gives? I have no choice but to wait it out.

Eating-wise, my doc has me on a full liquid diet (cream soups, sugar free Jello, milk, sugar free yogurt) right now. Three ounces at a time (which is like half a container of yogurt). It does fill me up, shockingly enough. I will be on it for another week, and then I move on to (drum roll) pureeds! Oh, blessed pureeds. I have missed my hand blender (or as untitledhusband calls it, my kitchen dildo). This is the same diet I was on three weeks before surgery, and I bitched the entire time. I’m not going to lie — I really miss food with texture. I miss chewing. Everything I read says the first month or two is a bitch, and they are right. Physically, you don’t get hungry. But mentally, I still want to eat what everyone else can eat. One thing that has changed are my cravings. I crave Subway, not chocolate chip cookies (or any sweets, for that matter). I’m not sure why this is, but hey, I’ll take it. Sweets have always been my downfall.

Here’s one thing they don’t tell you — after they remove your JP drain (about 10 days after surgery), you are left with a hole in your stomach about the diameter of a pencil. And here’s the clincher — they don’t stitch it up. They make you dress it twice a day, which involves sticking a Q-Tip in there, removing the debris and packing the empty space with gauze (so it doesn’t abcess). I shall never recover from sticking Q-Tips into myself and seeing them completely disappear. Thankfully, this hole heals up in one week. Now it’s just a scab. Personally, I think the nurses get off on making patients stick stuff into their bodies.

Being the lucky fuck that I am, I have another hole where one of my incisions became infected. I had no idea it was infected — it looked like any other scab. At my 10-day checkup, they opened up the incision, removed the infected debris and left it open. It wasn’t as painful as it sounds. When they were done, the hole was about two inches deep and the size of a quarter. Fucking christ, people. Couldn’t you have just let it be? I am not a smoker, but I have this urge to stick a cigarette in that hole and see if I can take a puff through it.

In addition to all of this, I have discovered that my belly and adhesives do not get along. This whole time, I’d have red marks after removing the tape. But the other night when was removing my hole dressings, large patches of skin came off with the tape. Holy fucking painful. There are no words. I walked around all night tenting my pajamas away from my skin. The air hurt, anything rubbing hurt. Thank god it has now scabbed over a bit. Bloody hell.

So yeah, there have been a few tiny setbacks and inconveniences. But all in all, I’d still do this all over again. The first few weeks have been a little rough, missing food and all. Sugar-free popsicles go a long, long way in this department. I can’t say enough about my beloved cracksicles. We had a blizzard here, along with a 15-hour power outage. My popsicles were the main casualty. I made untitledhusband hitch up the horses and take my ass to Wal-Mart so I could buy more, blizzard and all. Hell hath no fury like a post-op without her sugar-free popsicles.

The amount of milk (24 ounces) I have to drink each day to get in my protein in unbearable, but I do it. I am so sick of milk. I will be so happy when I can eat solids again and get my protein the old-fashioned way. But it’s amazing, having this control over what goes into your mouth. The hunger is just not there, and the cravings are much less than they used to be. For anyone out there considering this surgery, know that it’s not nearly as physically painful as you’d think. It really isn’t. They show you these diagrams, how they staple this and re-route that. But honestly, from the outside, it feels fine. There is nothing to be scared about. Now if I could just get untitledhusband to look at my belly hole, my life would be complete. Look at my insides. Love my hole. This is your only chance before it heals up!

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